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From:  "I. Inayat" <>
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Subject:  The This Time Round FAQ (v1.8.4) [1/2]
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Posting the latest update of the This Time Round FAQ to the newsgroup. Feel
free to suggest corrections, amendments, additions, and deletions. No flames,

I'm going to try and post this around the first week of the month. Updates
only when something's changed.

Last changes:

- updated with Yet Another Time Round in question 16.

- updated the PPC description in question 16, adding the Doctor Who/Torchwood

- updated the description of H. G. Wells High School in question 13.

- modified the description of H. G. Wells High School in question 13 to add
David and Chris Doctors, and restructure the year groups accordingly.

- added the fourth Pro-Fun Party to question 16.

- made general tweaks here and there.

- tweaked the 'going on' bit in question 11.

Webpage: (Who's computer is this?)


The This Time Round FAQ (v1.8.3)

FAQ Authors: Imran Inayat, Douglas B. Killings and B. K. Willis (with thanks to
Paul Andinach, Daibhid Ceannaideach, Gordon Dempster, John Elliott, Helen
Fayle, Mags L. Halliday, J2rider, Clive May, Joe Wade, Graham Woodland,
Igenlode Wordsmith and Ken Young)

Disclaimer: This isn't official, or anything close to official. [thinks] Then
again, neither is the 'Round. It's intended as an intro to the place, rather
than the be-all and end-all of the place.


1) So what _is_ This Time Round, anyway?
2) Do I need to have written anything beforehand to write a TTR story?
3) Which characters can appear in a TTR story?
4) How about crossovers?
5) Who created This Time Round?
6) What's the 'Round look like?
7) Does anyone run/staff the place?
8) Umm... do I need to ask anyone's permission to write a This Time Round
9) Okay, done the story. _Now_ what do I do with it?
10) How about doing a Round Robin?
11) Hey! That character died in the last story and now he's back! How'd _that_
12) So what's with all the Muses/Sirens/Succubi/etc. around the place?
13) What's this 'To Die For' stuff? Or that creche? Or the high school?
14) Where do I _find_ the TTR stories?
15) Which TTR stories should I read first, to get a hang of the place?
16) Are there any equivalents to the 'Round in other continuities?


1) So what _is_ This Time Round, anyway?

It's a pub that exists outside Doctor Who continuity. _Every_ Doctor Who

Which, in practice, means that any Doctor Who characters can meet in the
'Round. TV series, novels, plays, audios, comics, fanfics, annuals, movies,
computer games... as long as they've appeared in Who, they can come in. It's
basically where they go when they're not having continuity-set stories.

This even extends to different versions of the same character... so it's
possible that (for example) a fanfic post-Earthshock Adric (yes, there are
several) could meet a pre-Castrovalva Adric.

It's not just Doctor Who continuity, either - it exists outside /every/

And it's not alone out there.

The 'Round, and surrounding region, is one of a number of Outside Dimensions.
Most residents of the Round keep things simple by calling the 'Round's
dimension 'Outside', and use a variety of terms when referring to the other
dimensions (eg: Otherside, Outside's dark reflection, is also known as the
darkside or the flipside).

Which leads to the rather interesting conclusion that denizens of the 'Round
would be known as Outsiders...

The other subverses can be accessed from the 'Round either by using one of the
many PLOT holes around the place, or by using a TARDIS.

PLOT holes are openings in the Panreality Logarithmic Oscillation Template that
enable characters to go from one point to another without traversing the
intervening space/time/reality distance. The Panreality Logarithmic Oscillation
Template is a technobabbly concept whose only real meaning is to form the
acronym PLOT, so as to be the basis of bad puns.

It's relatively easy to find natural PLOT Holes around the place; they can be
opened by a PLOT Device, magic, cats or the babbling of a crazed physicist
called Winifred (don't ask).

A Siren's songs can also open a PLOT Hole - however, this method usually means
something comes through from the /other/ side before the hole closes.

So far, only the 'Round's resident Sirens and their family know this. And said
family is keeping a very, very close eye on them.

'Inside' usually refers to what happens inside a specific continuity. 'Reality'
refers to the authors' home universe.

2) Do I need to have written anything beforehand to write a TTR story?

Nope. No previous TTR stories, no previous 'Doctor Who' stories, no previous
/stories/, no restrictions, period. Not even suggesting something for the FAQ.

3) Which characters can appear in a TTR story?

Any character... as long as they've appeared in a piece of Doctor Who fiction.
Doesn't matter which medium, just that they've appeared (or _will_ appear, in
the case of future companions) somewhere, in some form, in Who fiction.

Original characters (like Francois, the Ogron bartender), Muses, or 'author
avatars' (how an author chooses to write themselves into the 'Round... which
may be nothing _like_ the.Real Life author) can appear too.

4) How about crossovers?

The situation on crossovers has been... messy, in the past. You _could_
crossover characters straight into TTR... but people tended to get a little
irritated when that happened.

To be on the safe side, it's been recommended that the crossover characters in
question appear in at least one non-TTR Who story.

However, given it's the place where the characters go when they're off-duty,
some of them can have friends and acquaintances from other continuities (like
we have friends who don't share our job. Or our fascination with Who, for that
matter). So... provided there's an understandable reason for a straight
crossover... go ahead.

5) Who created This Time Round?

TTR was created by Tyler Dion in 'A Quiet Night Out', posted 23/1/1998, as an
adaptation from Kielle's Subreality Cafe. (bows before Tyler and Kielle).

6) What's the 'Round look like?

Umm... as far as we can tell, it's a fairly small building, painted dark brown,
a bit creaky at times. The main floor has bay windows. There's a car park
outside, where various means and methods of transports are left (apart from the
sentient TARDISes. But don't bring that up with them. *Really*).

There's a wood just outside it, and an old people's home opposite, which backs
up on a gentle hill.

Nearby is the small town of Nameless, which has a strange and wide variety of
shops, a primary school, a high school, and a day care centre... but we won't
go into those. Believe me.

The 'Round, Nameless, and surrounding environs are usually held to lie
somewhere on the British coast (quite where, however, has never been

Inside... the Round is subject to writer fiat. You can make it look any way you
want. But there's usually a saloon room, and a number of back rooms, including
a common room, a games room, toilets for all species and genders, a room with a
Time Scoop, a library, and the Proprietor's office, along with a wine cellar -
and dungeon - in the basement.

Also, there's the scheduling board (where all the stories, novels, audios, etc.
are listed along with which characters they involve), the LAN room, (run by
Mel, the TTR Systems Operator), and the jukebox (which seems to have every song
ever released somewhere in its memory, and which automatically will tailor its
descriptions and content to whoever happens to be looking at it at the time).

The 'Round has at least one upper floor, with a number of sleeping rooms (you
_don't_ wanna know what an Ogron sleeping room looks like...), which are often
used for the more 18-rated things, sort of thing...

Oh yes. One big thing. This Time Round is _not_ bigger on the inside than on
the outside. It just looks that way.

It's currently listed in the CAMRA (CAMpaign for Real Ale) Guide to the
Universe, Fodor's Guide to Subreality, and the Michelin Guide to
Trans-Continuity Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants.

Ratings hover around two stars.

(No, This Time Round's location isn't based on any RL location, as far as we
know. It seems to work on the 'if you want to find it, you will find it'
narrative rule.)

7) Does anyone run/staff the place?

It's run by a figure known as the Proprietor. He doesn't usually get involved
in the 'Round's chaos, and when he does, it's usually with the staff, as they
complain about their jobs... He has been referred to as 'Tyler', on a couple of
occasions, but the connection to Tyler Dion, who opened up the Round to the
writers, is... uncertain...

One thing that should be noted is that if something loses the Proprietor money,
he tends to get... rather unhappy about it.

On the other hand... is he all that he seems? TTR _does_ exist outside
continuity, after all...

The regular staff at present are:

Bartenders: Francois the Ogron, Harry Sullivan, Adric, Chang Lee, Fitz and
Sandra, the resident phantasm. Of these, Francois and Sandra are the only ones
who definitely work full time, although Harry and Adric often work near-full
time (Adric probably because he's got nothing better to do and at least it
keeps him safe from the Psycho for a few hours). There's also a long tradition
of the remaining companions taking turns as bartender, so the hours where the
above are not scheduled or when extra hands are needed are when the others take
their turns.

Other staff: Katarina is usually on waitress duty, Mel, as mentioned above, is
Systems Operator, and Polly is (of course) the 'Access Control Monitor' (read:
'continuity cop'). Charlotte, Francois's sister, is the cook.

With the arrival of the 2005 Who series, plus what seems like a near-constant
influx of crossover characters, the Proprietor found he needed more staff to
deal with the workload.

He started off by looking for suitable vict- , er, *applicants* from throughout
the subverses; as a result, he ended up hiring Luna Inverse (elder sister of
Lina Inverse, of 'Slayers' fame), wannabe alien Kelly Kendin, Tainted refugee
Hayley Rhodes, and fugitive catgirl Mia.

Attempting to /buy/ suitable help didn't work out much better, resulting in the
hiring of android girl Neimi and Discworld golem Treader 27, both of whom are
entirely too familiar with their rights for the Proprietor's liking...

8) Umm... do I need to ask anyone's permission to write a This Time Round

Uh-uh. Though it's generally considered polite to note who/what in the Round
belongs to which authors/companies. (One of the writers of this FAQ (Imran)
admits to not having done this himself)

It's usually also considered good form that if you're intending to write a
story significantly using another fan writer's characters or storylines you ask
that person beforehand via email (if possible). 99.9% of the time there's no
problem, but it's better to make sure.

9) Okay, done the story. _Now_ what do I do with it?

Usually, you can post them to the alt.drwho.creative newgroup (preferably with
[TTR] in the heading as a flag, so people know it's a This Time Round story).

(Been lucky. Haven't seen TTR 'plagiarised' stories, or flames in story form.
Apart from that, as long as it's about, or set in, This Time Round, it counts
as a This Time Round story.)

10) How about doing a Round Robin?

Mm. The first 'Round Round Robin involved Pinky and the Brain, the Author
Mafia, Shub-Barneyrath, Sailors Gallifrey and Marinus, Philip Seagull and some
_Thing_ in the Corner...

Then we finished the /second/ TTR Round Robin (involving Eric Saward, Sailor
Fitz, the Evil, Neutral, and just plain _odd_ Odd Trios, the Infinity Doctor's
evil twin brother and a fuzzy toy Yeti)...

The third, 'Dark Carnival', is still in progress. The Tod Brothers' Carnival
has arrived in town, and the usual suspects have descended on it, suspecting
dark forces at work.

This time, the dark forces are prepared for them.

There are two main ways you could start one.

- There's improvisational (post the beginning of a story to adwc, and hope
someone else takes it up.), which we used for the first two Round Robins.

- Or moderated. Post a call to alt.drwho.creative, asking for writers for a
This Time Round Round Robin. Then, after receiving responses from authors who'd
like to get involved (give this about a month or so), plan it out, decide how
long you want it to be (how many chapters it should have), assign an author (if
you have enough) to each chapter, get them to post the submission to you first,
for approval and editing, (preferably, should be about a week between
chapters), then post the chapters to the newsgroup.


And it's also probably a good idea to decide how many chapters (and how many
slots for authors, thereby)

11) Hey! That character died in the last story and now he's back! How'd _that_

Oh yeah. That's another rule of the 'Round. If someone dies in the 'Round, they
come back to life shortly afterwards.

In other words... no-one dies in the 'Round. At least, not permanently.

(And Death is usually on hand to prepare the deceased for return...)

However, it gets murkier if it happens off-premises. Basically, it appears that
if you die outside of the 'Round, you have to get a deferment from the
Mortality Deferment Office in Limbo, (aka the waiting room of the afterlife),
in order to come back to life.

Adric is the only one with an express-ticket, (his mortality deferment card,
aka 'the punchcard'), but that's because he keeps getting bumped off. He
undeniably holds the record for number of times killed.

Some characters remain in Limbo - they usually end up working for the Mortality
Deferment Office, or hanging around Limbo aimlessly. Most of the MDO's staff
are selected from characters who committed suicide.

(Apparently, there's a PLOT Hole somewhere in the subverses that leads to
Limbo. Probably somewhere anime side, accessible only to celestial agents, and
those they bring with them.

Oh, and to Ryouga Hibiki.

Long story.)

Some characters don't choose to come back - they choose to go on to whatever
fate awaits them, walking the path that opens before them. For those we've
seen, it manifests as a column of light; there are almost certainly others.

After that... while past and alternate versions of that character may still be
around, the character is /gone/.


No living character knows what happens to those who decide to go on.

There is another choice, though - undeath.

In this case, there has to be something powerful enough to call - or send - the
deceased back in undead form, and it ends up causing a /lot/ of paperwork for
the office... but when they /do/ come back, they're effectively immortal and
nigh-on indestructible, barring preset conditions. They're also pretty much
stuck as undead, barring unique circumstances. Punchcard holders are /not/
exempt from this - one version of Adric has undergone this, coming back as a
revenant. To the best of anyone's knowledge, he's still out there...

When corporeal undead - vampires, zombies and so on - are killed and
resurrected, they come back in their undead forms.

Whether /non-corporeal/ undead - ghosts - can be killed remains open to

(Reanimated mindless corpses come under the heading of 'special
circumstances' - the deceased's soul isn't present, the corpse is animated by
the forces involved, whether that's emotion, magic, or weird science.)

12) So what's with all the Muses/Sirens/Succubi/etc. around the place?

Ah. That would be Imran and B. K.'s fault, really.

It has its foundation in two different main sources.

The first is the anime/manga series 'Oh My Goddess!', where we're introduced to
the idea of a Divine licencing system - that is, the idea that the gods are
licenced in accordance with their type, their power, and their discipline with
said power.

The second is Subreality, which created a society and culture for modern-day
Muses - the Divinities who inspire works of creativity - headed by the Nine
Muses of Greek mythology, with Calliope (Muse of Epic Poetry) ruling over all.

B. K. was the first to establish the presence of Muses Outside in 'Shock Value
4: Current Affairs, the Musical'. Imran, however, ended up being the first to
actually introduce one - his Muse Allie - in 'Musings', shortly before B. K.
introduced his - Nyssaias and Embericles - in 'Shock Value 5: No Muse Is Bad

From there, the circle of Muses expanded rapidly - from Carrie, the embodied AI
who serves as Graham Woodland's Muse, to Bob the Muse, the enigmatic entity who
acts as Muse for Daibhid Ceannaideach, taking in many others along the way.

And in conjunction with that rapid expansion, we discovered the existence of
other Divinities.

First were Xeffy and Ayna, the resident Sirens, in 'The Time The Stories Went
Dark' and 'Maybe Some Other Time' respectively.

Then, with B. K.'s 'She Talks To Rainbows', we got our first look at the wider
organisation of the Divine - the Celestial Bureaucracy, based in the City of
Dreams, and the many Divinities it oversees (or not, as the case might be).
We've met Dryads, Demon Lords, Succubi, and Counterfeiting Demons... and that
only scratches the surface of the Divinities out there.

As for _what_ a Divinity is - a Divinity is any being who possesses a spark of
the Divine. Where exactly that spark of Divinity comes from, however, is
presently unknown. We know that the child of two Divinities is Divine in their
own right, and that the child of a Divinity and a mortal is semi-divine. We
also know that, under the right circumstances, it's possible for someone to
become Divine, receive the Divine spark... but the spark's origin remains

What we _do_ know are the effects of possessing such a spark.

Each spark is aspected towards what, for want of a better term, can best be
described as 'forces', among which are the Dark (demons), the Light (angels),
the Elemental (elementals), and the Natural (nature spirits). The nature of
each individual spark determines its bearer's function as a Divinity, and, more
often than not, shapes their form to follow that function.

Each type of Divinity is ranked into classes, ranging from First Class at the
top down to at least Fifth Class, the lowest known to date; First Class
Divinities have maximal power and control over their area of influence in their
immediate vicinity, while Fifth Class Divinities' influence is minimal.

There's also a hierarchy _between_ types - the typical rule of thumb is 'the
wider and more diverse the area of influence, the higher in the hierarchy that
type ranks'. So, for example, Archangels rank highly among the Light, whilst
gremlins rank somewhere near the bottom of the Dark.

There are, however, those above even the Archangels and Demon Princes - the
Powers, whose understanding of their domain is second to none, and whose power
can span countries, continents, or even the entire globe.

And above them all stands the Allfather, whose word is law for the Divine.

All the Divinities operate in the context of the Divine Plan, a scheme in which
all Divine types have a place - even if the nature of that Plan is unknown to
all save perhaps the Allfather.

The end result of this is that it's perfectly possible for, say, a Divinity of
Light and a Divinity of Dark to be best of friends, or mortal enemies, and
other Divinities will at least comprehend that such is possible, even if their
own opinions differ significantly. There is no 'universal' policy regarding
relationships with other Divinities, regardless of type; it's down to the
judgement of the individual Divinity.

The Divine are also not precluded from interacting with mortals outside of
their duties; again, however, individual attitudes to this will vary from
Divinity to Divinity.

As might be guessed - not least from the existence of Counterfeiting Demons,
among others - Divine law is significantly different from mortal law, focusing
on the duties and responsibilities expected of a Divinity. What mortals hold as
crimes are _not_ necessarily what a Divinity would hold as a crime.

Those Divinities who decide to live among mortals, however, will usually abide
by the mortal law applicable to their present location.

In a realm with a unique grasp of law - like Outside - this can have
interesting consequences...

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